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December 2010


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Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences | DEPSNews

 December 2010

Reports in the News-01


The Economist Science and Technology blog recently reviewed Biometric Recognition: Challenges and Opportunities in a piece titled: "The Difference Engine: Dubious Security." Thanks to gangster movies, cop shows and spy thrillers, people have come to think of fingerprints and other biometric means of identifying evildoers as being completely foolproof. In reality, they are not and never have been, and few engineers who design such screening tools have ever claimed them to be so.

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Space News, in a story titled "Joint Space Programs Seldom Save Money, Report Says," writes: Although constrained budgets may spur U.S. federal agencies to establish collaborative space missions, these joint ventures are inherently more complex and result in higher overall costs than independent projects, according to a report released Nov. 23 by the National Research Council (NRC). ... The report's primary recommendation is that agencies avoid collaborative Earth-observing or space science missions, said Daniel Baker, director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and co-chairman of the NRC committee that drafted the report,


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The recent PCAST meeting featured DEPS' report - S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States- as well as other National Academies reports. You can watch webcasts of the meeting featuring John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology; Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy; Charles Vest, President, National Academy of Engineering; Dan Mote, President Emeritus, University of Maryland, College Park; and  John Gannon , President, BAE Systems Intelligence & Security.


The New York Times, in a story titled "New U.S. Standards Take Aim at Truck Emissions and Fuel Economy," reports: The federal government announced the first national emissions and fuel economy standards for heavy vehicles on Monday ... The standards draw from a study issued this year by the National Academy of Sciences -Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles- which found that existing technology - including low-rolling-resistance tires, improved aerodynamics, more efficient engines, hybrid electric drive systems and idling controls - could cut fuel use in trucks by a third to a half." 

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Herb Lin Speaks About Cyberattack and Stuxnet

Stuxnet is a quickly mutating computer worm that has been infiltrating computers in Iran. Discovered in June, Stuxnet has been found in over 45,000 computers in various countries, but the vast majority of infected systems are in Iran.

The 2009 title Technology, Policy, Law and Ethics Regarding U.S. Acquisition and Use of Cyberattack Capabilities provides insight and a context with which to view the Stuxnet situation. We asked Herb Lin, the Study Director and one of the editors of the book, for his perspective ...

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Recent Releases-01-01


Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions

Space Studies Board

Released November 23, 2010

More info:

Critical Code: Software Producibility for Defense

Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB)

Released October 22, 2010

More info:


Research Opportunities in Corrosion Science and Engineering

National Materials Advisory Board (NMAB)

Released October 19, 2010

More info:


Modeling the Economics of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Summary of a Workshop

Board on Energy and Environmental Systems (BEES)

Released October 8, 2010

More info:


Proceedings of a Workshop on Deterring CyberAttacks: Informing Strategies and Developing Options for U.S. Policy

CSTB, Policy and Global Affairs (PGA)

Released October 4, 2010

More info:


Toward Better Usability, Security, and Privacy of Information Technology: Report of a Workshop


Released September 14, 2010

More info:




breaking news-02-01


Richard Rowberg, Deputy Executive Director of DEPS was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society, nominated by Physics and Society.  Dr. Rowberg received his B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Los Angeles.  Prior to joining DEPS he was the Senior Specialist in Science and Technology at the Congressional Research Service.

Don Shapero, Director of the Board on Physics and Astronomy, was made a Fellow in 2007.



top reports-01-01



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